If Joaquin Castro Runs For Senate, Who In San Antonio Could Take His Place In Congress?

Mar 21, 2019

From Texas Standard:

Though he hasn't made an official announcement, Texas Monthly recently reported that Joaquin Castro could soon announce plans to challenge John Cornyn for his Senate seat in 2020. If Castro runs, his own seat in Congress will be open. He represents a district that's been solidly Democratic for years, and now some are speculating about who would run to replace him. 

Gilbert Garcia, metro columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, has been pondering the musical-chairs game of sorts that a Castro Senate bid could set in motion.

Garcia says San Antonio comprises five congressional districts, and that the 20th is the one Democrats covet most.

"This is the only one that is entirely contained within Bexar County," Garcia says. "It's also a solidly Democratic seat."

Garcia says Trey Martinez Fischer is one viable candidate. He recently returned to the Texas House of Representatives after a two-year absence. But Fischer is possibly looking to increase his power there if Democrats take over that chamber in 2020, so his candidacy for the U.S. House wouldn't be a given.

Justin Rodriguez, another viable candidate who replaced Castro in the Texas House, recently accepted a position on the Bexar County Commissioners Court. So Garcia says it's unlikely he would jump into a race for a seat in the U.S. House.

Garcia says state Reps. Diego Bernal and Ina Minjarez could contend for Castro's seat. Both entered the Texas Legislature after winning special elections in 2015. Garcia says Minjarez has received support from Emily's List, the national political action committee that supports women candidates who advocate for abortion rights.

"I think they both have some interest in it, but at the same time, I think they're both pretty happy with what they're doing," Garcia says.

If Castro does run against Cornyn, he will not be able to run for his current congressional seat, too.

Written by Shelly Brisbin.